Save the Internet
SavetheInternet.com coalition supporters took to the pavement last week in 25 cities nationwide, delivering our petitions to their senators and urging them to oppose the phone and cable company attempt to gut Net Neutrality.
From Buffalo to Fayetteville, Orlando to Seattle, the broad outpouring of public support for Net Neutrality came as the Senate's August recess ended, and elected representatives return to Washington and the business of making laws. On Wednesday and Thursday, SavetheInternet.com supporters spoke back to the big phone and cable companies. Their message to Senators: "Don't sell out the Internet. Serve the public interest. Support real Net Neutrality."
In each location, citizens urged their senators to place the needs of the public and our democracy ahead of the interest of phone and cable lobbyists.
Petition delivery events were held at senators' offices in New York and Buffalo (NY); Fayetteville (AR); Des Moines; Detroit; Denver; Boston; Newark(NJ); Providence(RI); Baltimore; Portland (ME); Seattle and Spokane (WA); Eau Claire, Milwaukee and Madison (WI); Montpelier (VT); Wilmington (DE); Orlando (FL); Honolulu; Louisville (KY); Columbus (OH); Charleston (WV); Minneapolis; and, earlier this month, in Albuquerque and Santa Fe (NM).
You can follow ongoing developments at the SavetheInternet.com blog.
As senators return to the Beltway this week, their constituents have put the issue sharply into focus. We need to continue exerting pressure through September and beyond to ensure meaningful Net Neutrality protections in Congress.
Thanks to you, there is now a growing sense of inevitability that Net Neutrality is something that politicians must protect under law.
P.S. Some reports from the cities:
New York: Senator Schumer Pledges Support
"We are extremely pleased that both of our New York Senators are pro Net Neutrality," Jessica Findley, a freelance graphic designer from Brooklyn, said on Wednesday. "We are proud that they represent the importance of this freedom and hope that other senators will follow their great lead." Findley and others delivered more than 50,000 petitions to the offices of Sen. Charles Schumer, who earlier in the week pledged his support for Net Neutrality.
Des Moines: Senator Harkin Joins Fight
Two days prior to SavetheInternet's Des Moines rally, Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin pledged to "strongly support Net Neutrality legislation." In a statement released to press he wrote: "If Congress does not insist that this openness and neutrality remain a hallmark of the Internet, then we risk transitioning to a system where Internet providers can favor one website over another, based on money or content. This would be an unacceptable result." WHOTV-13 covered Wednesday's Des Moines event where people gathered to thank Senator Harkin for his decision. At the event, small business owner Ben Bellus said that killing Net Neutrality could force small businesses to pay a higher rate for fast Internet service. "It would reduce the efficiency of our services to our clients and that is something we really don't want to do, it isn't fair."
Minneapolis: Senator Dayton Announces Support at Rally
Sen. Mark Dayton chose the Savetheinternet.com rally in Minneapolis to come out in support of Net Neutrality legislation -- and against Stevens' Bill. Dayton told supporters that he would become a co-sponsor the Snowe-Dorgan Net Neutrality bill. "I will work with the two Senate sponsors to enact the Net Neutrality principles of equal access to the Internet into law this year."
Montpelier: Vermont's Jeffords Gets behind Net Freedom
Days before Thursday's SavetheInternet.com rally in Montpelier, Sen. James Jeffords issued a statement that he would "support the concept of network neutrality, as I believe the Internet works best when users can control their access to content. I recognize the benefits of reasonably priced, high-speed Internet access, especially in rural areas." Jeffords said he was "disappointed the Commerce Committee was not able to agree on a stronger network-neutrality provision."
Detroit: Skewering the Telco Lies
In Detroit, outside Sen. Debbie Stabenow's office, David Pettit of the Public Interest Research Group in Michigan said, "Powerful telephone company lobbyists will tell you one of two things -- both of which, of course, are false. First, they will tell you that the Stevens bill already preserves Net Neutrality. This is completely not true. Second, they might say 'don't regulate the Internet. Let the market decide' ... All we want to do is reinstate the Net Neutrality principles that guarantee that the Internet treats everyone fairly."
DENVER, COLORADO CBS NEWS
SaveTheInternet.com Petition Delivery to Sen. Salazar, 8/30/06
DES MOINES, IOWA NBC NEWS
Petition Delivery to Sen. Harken, 8/30/06
PORTLAND, MAINE PUBLIC RADIO
Petition Delivery to Sen. Collins, 8/30/06
BURLINGTON, VERMONT. CBS NEWS
Petition Delivery to Sen. Jeffords, 8/31/06
FAYETTEVILLE, ARK. ABC NEWS
Petition Delivery to Sen. Lincoln, 8/31/06
WILMINGTON, DE. WDEL 1150AM
Petition Delivery to Sen. Carper, 8/31/06
MADISON. WISCONSIN PUBLIC RADIO - 87.7
Petition Delivery to Sen. Kohl, 8/30/06
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. ABC NEWS
Petition Delivery to Sen. Bingaman
New York: http://www.freepress.net/docs/sti-newyork.jpg
Portland (ME): http://www.freepress.net/docs/sti-portland2.jpg